The dog days of summer may be coming to an end, but the release slate is heating up with past gold and platinum performers such as Trace Adkins, David Gray, Andrea Bocelli, Iron Maiden, Brian Wilson and John Mellencamp turn loose new sets on Tuesday, Aug. 17. Watch the heat index rise even higher next week when Katy Perry”s “Teenage Dream” arrives.
Trace Adkins, “Cowboy”s Back in Town” (Show Dog/Universal): Deep-voiced country superstar, out on tour right now with label mate Toby Keith, returns with another set that highlights his weather-beaten growl.
David Gray, “Foundling” (Mercer Street/Downtown): Gray, who”s on the road with Ray LaMontagne (see below): After taking a hiatus in the mid-2000s, Gray has been fairly prolific. He now returns with a 2-CD set, which features 11 new songs and eight previously unreleased songs, which means they”re new to us.
Iron Maiden, “The Final Frontier” (Universal): British heavy metal stalwarts return with 15th studio album, which, despite its title, is not the group”s swansong. Although at more than 76 minutes, the sci-fi inspired title should tide fans over until the next one.
Kem, “Intimacy” (Universal Motown): Fronted by contemporary urban hit, “Why Would You Stay,” “Intimacy” follows his 2005″s set with a collection of classic-sounding tunes about love and, you guessed it, intimacy.
Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs, “God Willin” & The Creek Don”t Rise” (RCA): Troubadour gets his funk on for his fourth, self-produced set, recorded over two weeks in LaMontagne”s Massachusetts home.
John Mellencamp, “No Better than This” (Rounder): On his 25th album, Mellencamp pairs with producer T Bone Burnett, for a collection of originals that he recorded in such all-American settings as Memphis”s Sun Studios and a Sa Antonio hotel room where Robert Johnson recorded.
Taking Back Sunday, “Live from Orensanz” (Warner Bros.): The group does its thing at a New York synagogue.
Brian Wilson, “Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin” (Walt Disney): Two American classics meet on Wilson”s treatment of classics from his musical idol, George Gershwin (and his brother Ira). Read review here.